Also found at Boston Sox Journalism
During Adrian Beltre's introduction to Red Sox Nation this past week, one of the many questions asked to Boston Red Sox General Manager, Theo Epstein, was in regards to the situation with 2007 World Series MVP, Mike Lowell.
Theo Epstein replied by saying, "we are on the same page with Mike Lowell." He also explained that he still believes there is opportunity for Lowell to prove himself in Spring Training and have a position whether it be in a Red Sox uniform or elsewhere by Opening Day.
If I'm Mike Lowell, I'm slapping myself in the face for not taking a better deal to play for the Phillies after the 2007 season.
With the Red Sox moving on as a team more based around defense and pitching, Mike Lowell will likely be gone by Opening Day. Mainly because he doesn't have the durability to play third base up to Boston's apparent standards. Lowell struggled with injuries last season, but still put up some solid numbers with the bat as he hit .290 with 17 home runs and 75 runs batted in.
There is no doubt in my mind that Lowell can still produce with the bat, especially if he were moved to first base/designated hitter for the season, but it's apparent that can only happen if Lowell was potentially moved to another team in need of a bat.
With Adrian Beltre at third, Kevin Youkilis at first, and David Ortiz at designated hitter with no signs of any sort of competition for his position swirling around Red Sox Nation; Mike Lowell is the highest paid bench player in baseball...at least for the time being.
With Lowell being owed $12 million dollars this upcoming season, it is all the more reason the Red Sox are trying to rid themselves of the veteran even if they can only free up some space, as seen when Lowell was on the verge of going to the Rangers as the Sox offered to pay nine out of $12 million dollars in his contract.
It is obvious the Sox want no part in having Lowell on their 2010 squad, which is terrible since Lowell has been such a productive player on and off the field in his tenure in Beantown, but it is a business and it seems as though we won't see Lowell occupying third base next year.
The question remain, who will take Lowell and for what cost.
First off, I believe Lowell's tradability is at an all time low at the moment since he is coming off of thumb surgery, will need to prove he's healthy and durable as well as show why he can can still produce with his bat.
Who possibly could use Mike Lowell's bat right now though? The Texas Rangers recently added Vladimir Guerrero to a one year pact, so that means chances of the Lowell for Ramirez deal are as good as gone,so who else can take the chance of trading for Lowell and what is the most they can offer in return?
But I don't think either team is willing to give up anything or will be able to take Lowell for any more than three to five million dollars, and there were rumors swirling around between the Mets and Red Sox about trading Mike Lowell for 2B Luis Castillo, but that deal benefits nobody and it's really a bad contract for badcontractkind of trade. Plus Lowell can still produce, Castillo really has nothing to offer to the Sox.
In my mind, I can't think of many possible suitors that:
- Will take the risk of signing the injury prone player
- Can afford much of his contract or even be willing to take it
- Can offer anything decent in return or in short, make any offer that is likable by the Red Sox
So what is next?
I think both Lowell and Ortiz should compete for the DH spot in Spring Training to see which one still has more in the tank, especially in their contract years. I know they can still put up solid numbers (not 2004-07 Ortiz or 2007 Lowell) and they do have something to prove to themselves and the rest of the teams who could possibly look to sign them next season.
Why does Lowell have to leave? As of now we have an zero offense on our bench and I'm sure Lowell would take that position on the bench or split the DH position with Ortiz for the season...do they really have a choice anyways?
Mike Lowell needs to look at himself in the mirror and accept that it's going to be near impossible to find a team that will take him and play him every day.
He needs to show he has something left in the tank by any means necessary. The Sox are apparently confident with Ortiz at DH, but I fear he will struggle in the beginning of the season, so I suggest a competition similar to the shortstop competition last season between Julio Lugo, Jed Lowrie, and Nick Green in Spring Training.
Mike my friend, you are screwed this upcoming season, if you ask me, and only time will tell if Theo's statements that "We are on the same page" and "Everything will work itself out" turn out to be true. I hope Theo can find a spot for Lowell on the Red Sox, but it seems unlikely. Maybe there is a team willing to take the veteran, but who?
Article also found on Boston Sox Journalism